One of the most famous views in Acadia is from the south side of Jordan Pond looking north at the Bubbles across the lake. Both of these beautiful little peaks (South Bubble and North Bubble) have trails that go to the summits that make for great day hikes. While a visit to the summit of North Bubble can be incorporated into a South Bubble hike, a longer loop hike along the (North) Bubbles Trail offers some great scenery and escapes the crowds that flock to South Bubble and Bubble Rock. In addition to the great views of Jordan Pond, this hike summits the lesser-known Conners Nubble for great views of Eagle Lake and heads through some beautiful forested marshes.
Park at the Bubbles Parking Lot, a relatively small roadside parking lot located along the Park Loop Road roughly 2.3 miles south of the turnoff for the Cadillac Mountain Summit Road. (The lot may often be full by mid-morning in the tourist months.)
|Moderately strenuous day hike
|Bubbles Parking Lot, along the Park Loop Road, 2.3 miles south of the turnoff for the Cadillac Mountain Summit Road
|3.4 miles (up Bubbles Trail to Eagle Lake Trail and Jordan Pond Carry)
|400 feet up to North Bubble, 150 feet up to Conners Nubble
|Spring through fall
At the north end of the parking lot, find the "Bubbles Divide" Trailhead and hike west up the well-maintained trail as it slowly ascends through the forested landscape. As the trail heads up the valley between North Bubble and South Bubble, you will soon reach the North Bubble spur trail on the right (north). Head north up the North Bubble and soon enough you will be standing on the summit with amazing views of Jordan Pond to the south. This is a great place to relax and have lunch.
Continue north along the Bubbles Trail as it follows the North Bubble ridgeline and makes a slow descent while offering great views of Eagle Lake to the northeast. The trail crosses over a carriage road and then makes a quick ascent up the second peak of the hike: Conners Nubble. While Conners Nubble is a fairly minor peak, it offers a great panoramic view of Eagle Lake. Follow the trail as it descends again and then intersects with the Eagle Lake Trail. (If you bump into a carriage road at this point, you missed the Eagle Lake Trail junction and should turn back.)
The scenery for this part of the hike is notably different from the peak-centric Bubbles Trail. The Eagle Lake Trail travels through a thick section of pine forest and follows the edge of Eagle Lake; this area is amazingly tranquil. As you pass under Conners Nubble, the shoreline is littered with large boulders and the ingenious trail zig-zags around the obstacles. Also of note is a beautiful little stream crossing near the south side of the lake. After the stream crossing, keep an eye out for the junction with the Jordan Pond Carry and take it south. This area is mostly wet marshlands and much of the trail is a wooden plank boardwalk. The scenery here is also quite beautiful, but the humidity and mosquitoes may get to you. After one more carriage road crossing, the final stretch of the Jordan Pond Carry takes you back to the Bubbles Divide trail and the Bubbles parking lot.
This is a great loop hike that ventures through quite a bit of diverse scenery, from the majestic peak summits to dark forested sections at the lake's edge and through marshlands. Much of this hike is a bit off the tourist radar, so if you are likely to have a tranquil experience without too many crowds.